Americans typically lose power for an average of four hours per year. There are several events that can cause power outages, such as snowstorms, tropical storms, high winds, accidents, and fires. In North America, citizens are also affected by hurricanes and tornadoes. Severe storms can result in loss of power for several days.
A prolonged power outage can be extremely serious. During the summer people can suffer from heatstroke without air conditioning and die. Hypothermia can be an issue if people are without power during the winter. Research has established that prolonged outages lead to medical emergencies and loss of life. Fortunately, you can significantly reduce the risk of adverse health issues and property damage during a power outage with careful preparation and the right resources.
Emergency Power Source
Purchase and install a Perkins diesel generator to ensure that you can operate part or all of your appliances during an electrical outage. Generators can be used to run your refrigerator and freezer to keep your food from spoiling. They can also provide power for your stove so that you can prepare meals. You can learn more about the best solar generators for refrigerators here. During winter months, you can use a kW diesel generator to operate heaters so that you can keep your home warm. You can also use a generator to run your air conditioning if you experience an outage during a heatwave. Here's a portable generator comparison chart with reviews and pro & cons of popular generator brands.
If you know that you may experience a power outage due to a storm, you should make certain that you have a full tank of gas in your vehicle. This will ensure you can evacuate or retrieve the essential supplies you need. You should also ensure you have extra fuel for your power generator so that you can keep it operating for the duration of the power outage.
Store flashlights, batteries, candles, and matches to ensure that you can have light in your home during an outage. This will prevent you from hurting yourself by tripping in the dark. You may also want to buy camping lanterns to safely provide light. Camping lanterns can be powered with fuel or batteries. You should ensure you have enough fuel and batteries on hand to power your lights for several days.
You should have enough food and water to last for up to three days. Choose non-perishable food supplies, such as granola bars and canned goods, to ensure that your food will not spoil. You can keep bottled water on hand or fill up empty jugs or bottles to expand your water supply. Keep three days worth of toilet paper, hygiene products, diapers, baby wipes, and hand sanitizer on hand and enough prescription medication to last for a week.
You may need to keep your pet inside for several days if your power outage is due to a storm. Stock up on potty pads and cat litter before storms to ensure that your pet has a place to expel waste safely without damaging your home. You should also have at least three days worth of food, water, and medication on hand to provide for your pet during the outage.
You can help preserve your food and reduce the risk of it spoiling by turning your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting possible before you lose power. Reduce access to these appliances to keep cold air locked in. Replace the batteries in your flashlights so that all residents can have access to a working flashlight. You should also ensure that your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have new batteries so that you are alerted immediately if there are toxic fumes or a fire starts.
You should make arrangements to check in with friends, family members, and neighbors during any serious storm. This can prevent others from leaving a safe environment to check on you needlessly. Make certain they know if you are sheltering in place during a storm and devise a way to alert them if you evacuate. Have an evacuation plan on hand so that you know all potential routes you can take to the nearest approved shelter.
Generators should be installed outside your home. You increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if you do not keep your generator outdoors. It is also a good idea to have candle holders and to identify places where it is safe to burn candles. They should not be placed near drapes, bedding, bookshelves, or anywhere that they can come in contact with flammable items.
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